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Balham area guide

Looking for great things to do in Balham? Check out the best restaurants, bars and pubs, markets and attractions in the south London neighbourhood

Milk, Balham
Ed Marshall

Tucked between buzzy Clapham and newly-cool Tooting, Balham is something of a south London hotspot. Though it has kept its local community feel, SW12 now offers a wide variety of restaurants, some cool cocktail bars and plenty of characterful pubs. Just off the high road, Hildreth Street is well worth a visit, especially now its age-old market is surrounded by an enviable selection of coffee shops, delis and brunch spots. Whether you’re young or slightly-less-young, there’s definitely a place for you to hang out in Balham.

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Things to do in Balham

Hildreth Street Market
Shopping

Hildreth Street Market

Historic market on a lively street which has lots of offer.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Balham Swimming Pool
Sport and fitness

Balham Swimming Pool

High vaulted ceilings and oodles of natural light make this a pleasant place to do a few lengths. 

Users say
4 out of 5 stars

Restaurants in Balham

Arlo’s
Restaurants Book online

Arlo’s

‘Steak is what we do’, says the blurb, but don’t come here expecting the dark, sultry glitz of a US steakhouse. Arlo’s is a bright, clean-lined child-friendly spot where the owners seek out the more obscure grass-fed native British breeds and offer three cuts (bavette, hanger, rib-eye) with various sides – although we’d pick a zingy salad over their washout hand-cut chips and sourdough ‘trenchers’.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Book online
The Avalon
Restaurants Book online

The Avalon

Balham’s poshest gastropub is a summertime hole-up par excellence, with no fewer than three outdoor spaces to explore: a chilled courtyard area, a buzzy terrace and a fully laid-out garden. Inside, the bar is a good-time spot for drinkers, while the elegant dining room caters to those who prefer chorizo scotch eggs, stone-baked pizzas, dry-aged steaks, plant-based ‘B12’ burgers and sweet banoffee pie.   

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Book online
The Bedford
Restaurants

The Bedford

Famous as an iconic music venue and comedy club, this sprawling Balham boozer is now making some noise as a foodie destination following its re-launch. Head to the handsome dining room at the back for a savvy menu of crowd-pleasers (fish and chips, burgers, steaks) mixed in with the kind of dishes that’ll make you feel trendy (pumpkin ravioli, Moving Mountains vegan burgers, flatbreads with labneh etc). They do proper Sunday roasts too.

Brother Marcus
Restaurants

Brother Marcus

Put together on a shoestring by three multi-talented, twentysomething school friends, Brother Marcus sells itself as an all-purpose neighbourhood hangout. By day, it offers breakfast and brunch, small plates and Caravan coffee; in the evenings, it’s all about cocktails and warm focaccia buns; and at the weekends (evenings only), the kitchen is handed over to one of the owners’ street-food or supper-club buddies.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Bars in Balham

Lost & Found
Bars and pubs Buy tickets

Lost & Found

Cocktail bar with generous happy hours.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Buy
The Exhibit
Bars and pubs

The Exhibit

Multi-purpose venue with great cocktails.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Hagen & Hyde
Bars and pubs

Hagen & Hyde

Huge bar with roof space and garden.

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Simmons Balham
Bars and pubs Buy tickets

Simmons Balham

Popular spot for after-work drinks.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Buy
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Pubs in Balham

Devonshire
Bars and pubs Buy tickets

Devonshire

A huge and attractive boozer.

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Buy
Balham Bowls Club
Bars and pubs Buy tickets

Balham Bowls Club

Neighbourhood pub with fab granny-chic decor.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Buy
Nightingale
Bars and pubs Buy tickets

Nightingale

Cosy community local with beer garden.

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Buy
Bedford
Bars and pubs

Bedford

A busy corner pub.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
3 out of 5 stars
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The perfect weekend in Balham

Explore: Hildreth Street Market
Shopping

Explore: Hildreth Street Market

An historic street market surrounded by cool cafés and one-off shops.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Eat: Milk (M1lk)
Restaurants

Eat: Milk (M1lk)

Balham's buzziest brunch spot.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Browse: Balham Library
Attractions

Browse: Balham Library

A lovely place to while away a few hours.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Drink: Lost & Found
Bars and pubs Buy tickets

Drink: Lost & Found

Terrific cocktails that are great value during happy hour.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Buy

Hotels in or near Balham

Balham Lodge

Balham Lodge

A cheap and cheerful guesthouse. 

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The Gateway Hotel

The Gateway Hotel

A cosy hotel in a cool location.

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The Windmill On The Common

The Windmill On The Common

Good-value hotel right on Clapham Common.

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Premier Inn London Clapham

Premier Inn London Clapham

Well-located and all the usual amenities.

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